Twitter is set to release its first earnings report since it appointed cofounder Jack Dorsey as permanent CEO, and Wall Street will be listening closely to what he has to say on the earnings call. He has made it clear that he’s unhappy with the microblogging platform’s lackluster user growth, and investors want to know what he plans to do about it.
What to expect in Twitter’s earnings report
The Thomson Reuters consensus estimate suggests earnings of 5 cents per share and revenue of $559.6 million. Those numbers compare to Twitter’s guide for sales to be between $545 million and $560 million. The company also guided for EBITDA to be between $110 million and $115 million. Twitter also preannounced its revenue and EBITDA earlier this month by reporting that both metrics will be toward the high end of guidance or possibly above.
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Of course monthly active users will remain in focus tonight, as management didn’t give any indication on that metric. This has been a problem area for Twitter since it went public. MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson thinks Wall Street has low expectations and that Twitter could surprise to the positive as a result of the integration with Google Search.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, on the other hand, thinks the company will disappoint on monthly active users because if management had had something good to say about the metric at the time of the preannouncement earlier this month, they probably would have said it.
However, Wall Street has been pleased with the company’s recent announcement that it’s cutting 8% of its global workforce. Today shares of the microblogging platform climbed as much as 1.04% to $31.21 per share during regular trading hours after ending Monday on the plus side.
Jim Cramer: Ignore Twitter’s Q3 earnings
CNBC’s Jim Cramer thinks investors should just ignore tonight’s earnings report. He noted that Dorsey has only just begun, and he wants to see how Twitter’s new products do, according to a post on TheStreet. He said that basically tonight’s report just doesn’t matter. You may remember that he predicted that Twitter shares would move higher after the recently announced job cuts, and so far, he’s been right.
Sanderson appears to agree with Cramer, at least someone. He noted that it’s too early for the new Moments feature to have much of an impact on the monthly active user count and said that he will be surveying Twitter users throughout the December quarter. He also expects the 8% reduction in workforce to boost the company’s margins starting in the fourth quarter.
Questions for Jack Dorsey
Interestingly, Pachter doesn’t expect Dorsey to make many dramatic changes as CEO. His view runs counter to that of much of Wall Street’s in that he didn’t like the selection of Dorsey. Twitter had said it was seeking a candidate who could devote all of their time to running Twitter, and Dorsey is also CEO of Square, which filed for an initial public offering recently. Pachter thinks Dorsey was not a good choice because of his split attention. Tonight on the earnings call, Dorsey can expect to field questions about whether he can successfully run both Square and Twitter at the same time.
Pachter also thinks it would have been wiser to appoint an outsider to the executive chairman post.